The Asia Development Bank (ADB) has recently released the “Energy Outlook for Asia and the Pacific” Report suggesting regional nations enhance cross-border power exchanges to meet the booming demand for power, which is set to outpace the rest of the world in the next two decades.
According to the bank’s October 14 press release, the region will consume more than half of the world’s energy supply by 2035, with electricity consumption more than doubling economic growth.
“Countries cannot meet their huge power requirements, so the region must accelerate the cross-border interconnection of electricity and gas grids to improve efficiency, cut costs and take advantage of surplus energy,” said S.Chander, ADB’s Special Senior Advisor in Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships.
The report says fossil fuels will continue to dominate the energy mix in the coming decades, with the demand for coal to rise by more than 50 percent by 2035, or an annual increase of nearly 2 percent, led by consumption in China.
Oil demand will also grow by 2 percent per year, led by the transport sector, especially in South Asia.
Natural gas demand will expand at the fastest annual pace of 4 percent due to the lower environmental burden and ease of use.
The reliance on fossil fuels presents major pricing, energy security and environmental challenges, with Asia and the Pacific’s carbon dioxide emissions set to double by 2035, making up more than half the world’s total output.
Without reducing its heavy reliance on oil imports, using power more efficiently or adopting greener energy options, the region will see a growing energy gap between the rich and the poor, and increasing threats from climate change.
The ABD stresses big opportunities for building on existing cross-border power exchange initiatives in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia , with the ultimate goal of establishing a pan-Asia energy market by 2030. Closer cooperation will have other positive spinoffs including new economic opportunities and warmer relations.
The report was prepared by a team from the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre of Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics, under an ADB regional technical assistance project.
By Le My